Heaven Help Us


If you’re an actor, even a successful one, you’re still waiting for the phone to ring.

American actor and musician, Kevin Bacon, was born on this day in 1958.

Sheesh, if Kevin has to wait by the phone, why am I worried?

And, sheesh again, we’re the same age, how did we end up on such dramatically (so to speak) different paths?

That’s a bit of a silly question. We all take different paths. We’re all on different journeys.

Way too philosophical for a summer Friday.

I’ve never met Kevin Bacon. Never been in a movie with him.

But, a few summers ago I did get to stage slap the actor playing Ren in the stage version of Footloose.

Work with me here.

We’re at the end of another difficult week. Yesterday I found myself wanting to turn away from the Facebook news feeds…again.

But it’s just so hard to turn away from a train wreck, and these days, there are many.

I mean with the Presidential election alone the news is depressing. Your political mileage may vary but, the way I see it, both national parties are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

And, that’s all I’m going to say about that…for now.

Then we have the news of more police shootings. It’s a difficult issue and I don’t pretend to understand.

It is true that not all policemen are bad cops.

It is equally true that not all African American men are thugs.

Damn your statistics.

D.J. Spiker had some pretty good thoughts on it over at Bearing Drift yesterday:

We’re the party of the 2nd Amendment, but now at a crossroads: when the ‘law and order’ plank violates the 2nd Amendment rights of an individual citizen and executes him…which way will the party go?

I want to turn away from the train wreck(s). I really do. I want to pretend they’re not happening.

But I am reminded of the words of William Wilberforce when fighting for the abolition of slavery in England:

You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.

As an (older) middle-aged, middle-class, white guy, I don’t know how to respond to this. I know the typical knee jerk reaction is wrong.

But, I can’t ignore it.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

These are uncomfortable times. And while we may often seek comfort, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to get comfortable.

I don’t have the answers. I wish I did.

I wrote most of this yesterday afternoon and I struggled with how to draw this to a close or to try to say something meaningful. But as I was trying to edit and getting ready to post this the news came in about the shootings in Dallas.

That is not the answer, and heaven help us if we think it is.

To bring this post full circle, one of the songs in the stage show Footloose is Heaven Help Me.

The last line says, “If heaven can’t, who can?”


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